Hiatal Hernia Repair or Surgery? Cost, Risks, Recovery Diet & Complications

Are you tired of constantly suffering from acid reflux because of your hiatus hernia? Has the stomach hernia reached a critical point of strangulation where you must pursue surgical rectification to live a normal life? You have several options. In fact, if you suffer from obesity and you are considering a gastric bypass procedure then your esophageal hernia can be fixed during the weight loss surgery. Most gastroenterologists want to focus on treatment without surgery, but sometimes it reaches a point where there is no other option. Hiatal hernia repair surgery has a high surgery success rate.

Understanding Hiatal Hernia Repair Surgery

A skilled surgeon will push the stomach or organs into their original locations through a diaphragmatic opening. They will then repair the gaping opening so it is tight and no longer at a potential location of a future problem. There must be a snug entry for the gastroesophageal juncture.

Sometimes a mesh is used to reinforce the area. The mesh prevents upward migration, especially during healing. The stomach may also be sutured directly to the connective tissue. A feeding tube exiting the abdomen might also be a requirement. Laparoscopic surgery is replacing open incision. It provides faster recovery and less scarring.

Types of Hiatal Hernia Repair Without Surgery

If you are experiencing strangulation, then it is an emergency that requires immediate care. However, if you only have minor issues, then explore hiatal hernia repair without surgery.

Diet modification, sleeping on your side, losing weight, living an active lifestyle, walking, enrolling in a gym, and learning to manage stress are all wonderful ways to handle a hiatal hernia repair without surgery.

What is the Hiatal Hernia Surgery Cost?

In the United States, not everyone has insurance to cover expenses. You might wonder what is the hiatal hernia surgery cost? In America, the surgery averages $5,000, but this does not count the nights in the hospital. If you have complications and you stay over five days, then you will face over $10,000.

Facing Hiatal Hernia Surgery Risks

Any time you ‘go under the knife’ you will have risks, variables, and complications. Facing hiatal hernia surgery risks is never easy. Nissen fundoplication (laser surgery and laparoscopic) has few complications or risks compared to open incision.

Various Complications After Hiatal Hernia Surgery

Your physician, anesthesiologist, and hospital staff will advise of you of what you are facing before, during, and after the treatment. Various complications after hiatal hernia surgery include:

Infection: Any time they breach the skin with an incision the risk of bacterial infection exists.

Bleeding: You’ll be advised not to take aspirins or other blood-thinning drugs that halt coagulation. Despite the best precautions, bleeding is a real threat.

Injury: Even a trained and experienced surgical team can accidentally harm internal organs while moving or handling them.

Bloating: Your abdomen might bloat.

Inability to Belch or Vomit: This is a common complication that might persist for life

Difficulty swallowing: This is an uncomfortable and frightening side effect.

Nausea: Nausea might persist for weeks.

Reoccurrence: No surgery is perfect. The hernia might reoccur.

Scarring: Everyone is different. Some might have severe scarring that causes a narrowing of the esophagus.

What is Surgery Duration Time?

The surgical time frame depends on the size of the hernia and if you have conventional or laparoscopic surgery. The duration rarely exceeds one to two hours. Recovery time takes two to three weeks. You will be off your feet for one day in the hospital, but the following day physical therapists and nurses will usually have you walking the hallways.

Avoid Belching and Flatulence

There are a few interesting things you cannot do after surgery such as drinking through a straw. If your dentures need aligning, then book an appointment with a dentist or denturist because loose or floppy teeth cause you to swallow air. You will want to avoid common foods that cause gas even weeks after surgery.

Do not eat these culinary choices:

  • Cabbage
  • Beans (kidney, Navy, pinto)
  • Soda
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Asparagus
  • Artichokes
  • Pears
  • Hard candy
  • Legumes
  • Watermelon
  • Plums
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Celery
  • Mango
  • Peas
  • Apricots
  • Beer
  • Spicy foods
  • Wheat
  • Whole Grain
  • Peaches
  • Prunes
  • Cream cheese
  • Ricotta
  • Flaxseed
  • Buttermilk
  • Rye

Learning about Hiatal Hernia Surgery Recovery Diet

You might think surgery is the worst part of a hiatal repair, but if you have your para-esophageal fixed, then you will be placed on a very restrictive diet. The hiatal hernia surgery recovery diet includes liquids and very soft foods. You won’t be able to eat solids for three weeks. Your doctor will probably let you eat tuna, cottage cheese, soup, mashed potatoes, yogurt, and other semi-solid foods. Solid foods cause the stomach to swell which places pressure on the surgical site. You will want to eat tiny meals and soft foods that don’t bulk up. Under, no circumstances should you drink carbonated beverages. Remember, it is not unusual to have no appetite following surgery. It can take weeks before you feel hungry. Diarrhea and loose stools are normal for the first few days. Bowels take time to normalize. Avoid wearing tight pants, trousers, belts, shorts, or jeans with a belt. Also, do not chew gum or you could gulp down air which causes gas. Avoid slouching. Take a laxative to prevent constipation, especially if taking opioids which bind.




Article References:

  1. https://www.aboutgerd.org/surgery/gerd-and-hiatal-hernia-surgery.html
  2. https://www.healthline.com/health/hiatal-hernia-surgery
  3. https://www.trustedchoice.com/insurance-articles/life-health/cost-night-hospital/
  4. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321370.php
  5. https://www.healthline.com/health/hiatal-hernia-surgery#recovery
  6. https://www.uhhospitals.org/services/surgery-services/conditions-and-treatments/hernia-surgery/patient-resources/postoperative-instructions/laparoscopic-nissen-fundoplication